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Homecoming; by Belva Plain
Homecoming\'s most important part takes place a few hours outside of Manhattan at Annette\'s, the Grandmother of the Byrne family, elegant country home. Most of the family, Gene, Ellen, Mark, Aaron, Brenda, Cynthia, Andrew, live in Manhattan. Lewis and Daisy live in Washington. It happens during the winter.
Annette Byrne is the mother of Gene and Lewis. The two brothers grew up close and worked together in an architecture firm. One evening at an opening party, for a hotel that they had constructed with their successful firm, collapsed. Many people died, and many were seriously injured. They went to trial and it was very dirty and tore the brothers apart. For the next many years the two brothers didn\'t\' talk. Gene\'s daughter Ellen and Lewis\' daughter Cynthia didn\'t talk often and they lived in the same city. Gene\'s daughter Ellen left her fiancÚ, a very wealthy well-known man, for Mark. Mark worked in an art gallery, and they fell in love. Gene didn\'t\' approve of this, but dealt with it. Gene gave her a hard time about her marriage for a long time, because Mark was Jewish. Mark\'s parents were Aaron and Brenda. Aaron was a doctor, and Brenda was a social worker. Gene and Aaron met once and didn\'t\' get along at all and haven\'t spoke since. Ellen and Mark had a baby Lucy, and about four years later they had a second child Freddie. Mark and Ellen were very happy and saving up to start open an art gallery.
At about the same time as Freddie\'s birth, Lewis\' daughter, Ellen, had twins. Ellen married a man named Andrew. They were very happy together, and very successful. When the twins were about twelve months old, they were hit by an out of control taxicab while out for a walk with the nanny. Cynthia and Andrew supported each other, but then began to drift apart. One night at a party they were just beginning to become close again, and start a new, and Andrew cheated on Cynthia. She kicked him out of the house, and hasn\'t talked to Andrew since.
Annette had enough of all of this foolish fighting. She sneakily sent letters to each member of the family inviting them to come out and stay at her house. Each member of the family didn\'t know of the other member\'s invitation.
The day that everyone was to arrive at Annette\'s house, Gene arrived first, then Lewis, Daisy and Cynthia came together, next Ellen, Mark, their children, and Mark\'s parents arrived together, Andrew was the last one to arrive. Andrew came alone. When Gene and Lewis were first together, they argued in the garden room. They yelled and screamed about the past, while their mother just listened. It seemed hopeless, and Daisy insisted they leave. While the brothers were arguing all the others were in the foyer, uneasily mumbling to their allied family members. The weather was bad and everyone wanted to leave, but Annette insisted that they stay because of the weather, and plus she had a meal prepared. Annette\'s friend Marian was over the house incase Annette needed support, which Annette did. Many of the family members were angry with her for putting them in this situation. Marian convinced them all to stay for lunch.
After lunch, Ellen takes her two children down to the pond to see the swans. While they were down there Lucy ran down after the swans and fell into the icy lake. Ellen ran after her and fell in too. Mark saw this and ran to the lake, he was followed by the rest of the family. Andrew got a rope and tied Daisy to it. Daisy went in the lake, after Mark had grabbed Ellen out of the water, and grabbed Lucy. Both Ellen and Lucy were unconscious and not breathing. Aaron, who is a doctor, saved Lucy, and Lewis saved Ellen.
Everyone, now back in the house, slowly began to get along; everyone except for Cynthia and Mark. Gene and Lewis came to an understanding about their whole fiasco, Daisy began to talk to Mark, and Gene had been friendly with Aaron. That night Mark went to Cynthia\'s room. He refused to leave, and fell asleep on her
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